More than one million international students are studying in the United States. Many of them find it helpful to have a smartphone and an American credit card. These things make it easy to pay for many kinds of goods and services.
But getting a credit card as an international student is not a simple process. Normal U.S. lenders ask for a social security number. They also ask to see a person's credit history. This helps the lenders trust that someone is responsible and will make timely payments.
These are the things most international students do not have.
But one company is trying to make the process easier and fairer for them.
A history of credit
Jack Guo is from China. He now studies at a university in California.
He says having an American credit card makes it easier for students to get around town. And, he says, credit cards are important for international students who hope to live in the country in the future.
"A lot of my friends who have had the cards already because it's pretty important to get around L.A. And also if you're going to stay here afterwards for a job, for internship, for career, of course, you are going to consider buying property to live here, and having credit is pretty important if you want to get a loan."
In some countries, paper money, or cash, remains a common way to pay for goods. But in the United States, people often use credit cards. They have become even more common with the rise of e-commerce.
A new way to measure credit
Kalpesh Kapadia came from India to study at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He faced the same difficulties that many international students face when trying to get an American credit card.
He decided to open SelfScore. The company has a different way of measuring a person's financial trustworthiness, Kapadia says. Instead of asking for credit history and a social security number, SelfScore looks at documents such as passports, visas, and acceptance letters to American schools. The company also considers a student's ability to pay.
"The traditional system was designed in the 20th century before Internet, before smartphones, before social media, and it's kind of antiquated. We are inventing a new system."
About 10,000 international students from more than 66 countries now have credit cards through SelfScore.
Kapadia says less than 1 percent of SelfScore's credit card holders are past due on their payments.
He calls international students "highly motivated," or driven to succeed.
"This is a highly motivated population. Someone who comes here, 10,000 miles away, to make their life better through education is going to be behave quite differently."
I'm Phil Dierking.
I’ll tell you what happened afterwards.
Cecil inherited a family property near Stamford.
The country has no access to foreign loans or financial aid.
I continued to measure his progress against the charts in the doctor's office.
Therefore, the domains of the servers don't represent trustworthiness of the contents.
He finds himself in the basement, which is packed with antiquated instruments and equipment.
1.Normal U.S. lenders ask for a social security number.
social security 社会保险，社保
My mother never worked, so she's not eligible for Social Security.
Future retirees are expected to get smaller Social Security benefits than promised.
2.Kapadia says less than 1 percent of SelfScore's credit card holders are past due on their payments.
past due 过期的，延期的，过期未付的
That report is past due and could come at any time, although some analysts say it might not be released until after Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Washington in January.
Comment: The only significant metro area in Florida with a delinquency rate below 10% is Pensacola, where 9% of mortgages are 90 days or more past due.
但想要以国际留学生的身份获得美国信用卡并不容易 。通常，信用卡公司会询问申请人的社会保险号 。此外还会查询申请人的信用记录 。这样做能帮助他们信任持卡人富有责任感，能及时支付借款 。
郭某来自中国 。他目前在加州的一所大学留学 。
郭某表示，有了美国信用卡，学生们在这里生活就变得容易多了 。此外，他还说，对于有留美生活想法的国际留学生来说，信用卡也是很重要的 。
“我的很多朋友都已经办了美国信用卡，因为要在洛杉矶生活，有信用卡还是很重要的 。而且，如果以后你想留在美国工作、实习，或为了事业的长远发展的话，你当然得考虑在这儿买房生活，而信用卡能帮你贷款，非常重要 。”
一些国家的常见支付方式依然是纸币 。但美国人通常会用信用卡支付 。而随着电子商务的流行，信用卡支付变得愈发普遍 。
来自印度的卡帕迪亚在宾夕法尼亚州匹兹堡市的卡耐基梅隆大学读书 。他跟很多想要获得美国信用卡的留学生面临同样的难题 。
卡帕迪亚想办理万事达(SelfScore)信用卡 。万事达公司衡量申请人金融可信度的方式略有不同，卡帕迪亚说 。除了考量申请人的信用记录、社会保险号之外，万事达公司还会查看护照、签证、美国大学的接收函等文件 。此外，该公司会考量该学生的支付能力 。
“传统信用卡系统是20世纪设计的，那时候还没有互联网，没有智能手机，没有社交媒体，这个系统太过时了 。我们要发明一个新系统 。”
“这是一个有着高度上进心的群体 。有的人不远万里来到这里，就是为了通过教育让自己的生活更好，在这里，他们注定卓尔不群 。”
Phil Dierking为您播报 。